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Old 02-18-2007, 10:16 AM  
Yellowbutter72 Yellowbutter72 is offline
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Fireplace Pellet inserts vs wood inserts

My husband has emphysema and it is becoming more and more difficult for him to haul and stack firewood for our home. He wants to sell the house and get a smaller home without a fireplace. I suggested that we might look into an insert that might not burn up as much wood and he thought that might be a good idea. Yesterday we went to look and ran across a pellet insert. I got to thinking how much easier that would be than a wood insert. My question is, does anyone have a pellet insert that can tell me what is the best brand, type, etc?
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Old 02-18-2007, 10:38 AM   #2
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I have a St. Croix brand pellet stove and work on St. Croix stoves and inserts. I really enjoy mine and have had it for about 2 years with no problems. They do take regular maintanence such as cleaning the glass and dumping the ashes, which takes about 5 minutes. I bought pellets for about $175/ton this fall and it takes about 4 tons to heat my house for an entire season. The bags are 40 lb bags and are easy to dump into the insert or stove. I use my gas furnace for backup and wired it through a 2-stage t-stat so that if the pellet stove goes out or runs out of pellets, the gas furnace will take over and heat the house until the pellet stove is back online! Hope this helps!
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Old 02-18-2007, 02:14 PM   #3
btlook1 btlook1 is offline
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Think outside

I have a fireplace insert that is an old Wood Aire. If your husband is sick maybe the key would be to think about an outside stove? That would leave the mess and any smoke outside the house. I am currently looking in to buying an outside stove/furnace. Just something I wanted to throw out there. My wife has asthma so that is one reason we are looking at the change, we figure if it helps her and will probably be more effecient then it's a win win for us. I have recently sent off for more information from several places but haven't gotten it yet. It can't hurt can it? One place I found that sells these is www.heatsource1.com there are many stove makers out there. Just google! Hope it helps! Good luck!
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Old 02-18-2007, 02:18 PM   #4
chiefforlife chiefforlife is offline
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I have always preffered inserting the wood but thats just me...
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Old 02-18-2007, 06:39 PM   #5
Yellowbutter72 Yellowbutter72 is offline
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Thanks for all the information! We are still looking!
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Old 02-18-2007, 06:46 PM   #6
jspchief jspchief is offline
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Why not just get a gas fireplace or hire someone to convert your existing one?
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Old 02-18-2007, 07:40 PM   #7
Calcountry Calcountry is offline
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Then if the stores run out of wood pellets, you can burn whole corn in them if it is o.k. with the manufacturer.

Got to make them tortillas more espensive.
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Old 02-19-2007, 02:51 PM   #8
HemiEd HemiEd is offline
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This is very interesting, I had no idea these things even existed.


Wood Pellets

What are wood pellets?
Wood pellets are a type of wood fuel, generally made from compacted sawdust. They are usually produced as a byproduct of sawmilling and other wood transformation activities.

Production: The pellets are extremely dense and can be produced with a low humidity content that allows them to be burned with very high combustion efficiency. Their geometry and small size allow automatic feeding with very fine calibration. They can be fed to a burner by auger feeding or by pneumatic conveying.

High density: Their high density also permits compact storage and rational transport over long distance. They can be conveniently blo ... (more)
What are wood pellets?
Wood pellets are a type of wood fuel, generally made from compacted sawdust. They are usually produced as a byproduct of sawmilling and other wood transformation activities.

Production: The pellets are extremely dense and can be produced with a low humidity content that allows them to be burned with very high combustion efficiency. Their geometry and small size allow automatic feeding with very fine calibration. They can be fed to a burner by auger feeding or by pneumatic conveying.

High density: Their high density also permits compact storage and rational transport over long distance. They can be conveniently blown from a tanker to a storage bunker or silo on a customerís premises.

Heating systems: Pellet heating systems provide a solution because the quantity of carbon dioxide omitted during combustion is equal to the carbon dioxide absorbed by the tree during its growth.

One problem: One remaining problem is emission of fine dust in urban areas due to a high concentration of pellet heating systems. Electrostatic particle filters for pellet heaters have been developed and reduce the problem when installed as standard.

Characteristics: Although the chemical constituents and moisture content of different biomass materials vary, the Pellet Fuel Institute (PFI) has identified common characteristics and developed fuel standards. These voluntary industry standards assure as much uniformity in the final product as is possible for naturally grown materials that become processed, but not refined fuel.


PFI graded fuel must meet tests for:
Density: consistency hardness and energy content
Dimensions: length and diameter to assure predictable fuel amounts and to prevent fuel jamming
Fines: limited amount of sawdust from pellet breakdown to avoid dust while loading and problems with pellet flow during operation
Chlorides: limited salt content to avoid stove or vent rustling
Ash content: important factor in maintenance frequency

Cost: In the US pellets are sold by the bag, by the ton and by the skid. The selling price varies by region, availability and season, just like heating fuels.


The average pellet stove user will consume at the rate of about one 40 pound bag of wood pellets every 24 hours for every 1500 square feet being heated. Pellet consumption varies depending on overall home efficiency and stove settings.
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Old 02-19-2007, 03:25 PM   #9
JonesCrusher JonesCrusher is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HemiEd

One problem: One remaining problem is emission of fine dust in urban areas due to a high concentration of pellet heating systems. Electrostatic particle filters for pellet heaters have been developed and reduce the problem when installed as standard.
One of these filters would be a must with someone with resp. problems.

I am also intrigued by these pellets, I wonder if you could burn them on a campfire, maybe before going to sleep so coals remain in the morning or even for cooking since they would be low flame and high heat.
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Old 02-24-2007, 01:05 PM   #10
Yellowbutter72 Yellowbutter72 is offline
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We looked at the inserts at a homeshow today and found one that burns the wood pellets, corn and sunflowers. Also this one, if the electricity is out, you can hook it to a car or boat battery and it will keep the blowers going and the augurs feeding the pellets to burn. It was reasonably priced too.
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Old 02-24-2007, 01:13 PM   #11
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Wood pellets are the way to go if you want a long burn time. You only have to fill it a few times a week. My father used to heat his house with a coal stoker stove. It heated the entire house but left that awful white coal dust as a byproduct. Wood pellet stoves burn much cleaner. For someone that still wants to heat their house with wood but don't want the hassle of cutting, splitting and stacking logs, go with a wood pellet stove.
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